… when people find out that I write a food blog I usually get asked the same old questions… ‘do I eat everything I cook?‘… ‘when do I find the time to cook everything?‘… my all time favourite – ‘do I actually cook everything that I write about on my blog?‘… and new, ridiculously daft question… ‘do I know Ella from Deliciously Ella?…
my answers, which are becoming increasingly tiresome in their reply are invariably… yes, I tend to blog about what I cook, so yes I do eat it except for all the cake which i share with friends and neighbours and, if they’re lucky, work colleagues… I find time to cook at the weekends and then spread my blog posts out during the week. It wasn’t always like this but now that my ‘real’ work is increasingly busy I actually find this the best solution and I tend to be in my kitchen in the cottage, which I love, pottering around and cooking lovely things… yes, I do actually cook everything and no I don’t just take pictures from the internet! (I was actually asked this recently…) and finally, NO, i’ve never met Ella from Deliciously Ella and quite frankly I really have no interest in meeting this person…
It’s funny isn’t it… what started out as a hobby has become something of a second career and whilst ‘portfolio careers’ are all the rage it doesn’t quite sum up how much time, love and effort all us food bloggers put into this passion of ours and how, whilst I adore this whole thing, some weekends I come back to the cottage with the determination not to cook anything and take a proper blog-break but of course it never seems to work like this… the moment I stand in that kitchen i’m hooked…
slow-cooked portobello mushroom stew with herb dumplings
last weekend was a tale of two seasons… bitterly cold on Saturday and then toasty hot and sunny on Sunday. I guess it’s the summer trying to have one last blast at being summer but i’m afraid it was as short-lived and crap as the past three months. What it meant for me was arriving back home to a chilly cottage and whilst The Viking opened the lap-top to view emails and get on with proper work I got out the vegetables an gravy and started to make dinner for an evening meal that I knew we’d need after a chilly day surrounded by bricks and mortar… this one-pot, slow-cooked stew was not actually cooked in the slow-cooker but done in my trusty big pan simply because I was in the mood to saute veg and get that deep aroma of herbs into the house… it also kept me away from my laptop for just a little while longer. i was going to go all fancy with the dumplings and use some polenta and butter but in the end I just went traditional and used some vegetarian suet and fresh herbs. All in all it was a damn fine stew which went down phenomenally well and was well and truly polished off in one sitting but two greedy pigs…
some may balk at the thought of using Bisto Caramelised Onion Gravy Granules but quite frankly I don’t care… the extra long cooking time and liberal use of wine seems to knock back that fake chemical taste, which I happen to love anyway…
for the stew
1 medium onion – thickly sliced
1 medium leeks – thickly cut
300g mini portobello mushrooms – Sainsbury’s occasionally do them and they’re so cute! – if you can’t get these then regular will be just fine – thickly sliced
2 medium carrots – cut into batons
1 large courgette – roughly chopped
1/2 litre good quality vegetable stock
1/2 litre Bisto Caramelised Onion Gravy Granules
1 large glass white wine
fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano
for the dumplings (makes 12)
150g vegetarian suet
225g plain flour
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
fresh rosemary – finely chopped
water to mix
take a large, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid and gently heat some olive oil and a little butter and then throw in the mushrooms and gently saute until they begin to squeak, then add a generous grinding of pepper and salt, stir them around and saute again until they gain some colour… you’re treating the mushrooms like you would meat and adding flavour in the browning process… with this amount of mushrooms it should take about 10 minutes for them to soften and gain colour then tip them into a bowl and set aside
add some more butter and olive oil to the same pan and throw in the rest of the veg except the carrots and saute for 10 minutes until they begin to soften, throw in some fresh herbs of your choice along with the courgettes and stir together. Place the lid on and gently let the veg sweat for a further 5 to 10 mins
take the lid off, turn up the heat and once it’s all piping hot, throw in the wine and let it bubble away and reduce by half, then pour in the stock and gravy, turn down the heat, stir together and place the lid on and let it gently bubble away for at least an hour and a half
I then turn off the heat and let it sit, cooling with the lid on until 20 minutes before i’m ready to eat at which point I turn the heat back on and make the dumplings
to make the dumplings, place all the ingredients in a bowl along with some herbs and bring together with enough water to bind… you want a dryish ball of dough which you can then shape into individual balls. Lay these onto your warming stew, place the lid back on and let them bubble away for 20 minutes on a gently heat.
i’m entering this pot of glorious stew into the tea time treats challenge, hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage which has the theme of one-pot dinners
it’s also going over to the slow-cooked link-up hosted by Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen and Lucy The Baking Queen
Dom, this is awesome and luscious and packed full of veggies and flavour. Like you, yes I have no desire to meet Ella; and like, a lot of what i cook up is at the weekends and spread over the week.
Anyway, thank so much for sharing this gorgeous autumnal dish with EatYourGreens.
Keep Calm and Fanny On says
I'm not ashamed to say I love those Bisto Onion granules, they are packed with flavour! My Mum recently bought me a copy of the Ella book saying 'she's a blogger too' which was a lovely thought, but remains unopened. Am I bad? Also, has my Mum ever looked at my blog? Now I'm asking you lots of questions too!
Kate Glutenfreealchemist says
Oh Yes! What a wonderful stew. I love using mushrooms as the key part of a meal. This sounds & looks so tasty.
We were only pondering the other day how crap the weather was and that is is definitely time to start making stews again! Love this!
Mark Willis says
Dom, you're sounding like a grumpy old man now! I understand the frustrations though. sometimes being a high-profile blogger must be a bit of a penance. I think your style is just right though – I love the “reality” of your blog and those little snippets of cynicism! Many blogs are just too perfect to be true and you feel they are artificial.
Life Loving says
Oh wow! This looking amazing. I think I dribbled a little bit on my keyboard as I scrolled past the pictures. I really want to make this now (and when I say make this – I mean eat this!) Ha ha.
Sally @ Life Loving
No that the heat of the summer is almost gone I so want to be back in the kitchen. This would be the perfect muse Dom.
Beck @ Golden pudding says
Love this! Mushrooms are really great at providing that rich comforting feeling you need in cold weather, and the herb dumplings are the final touch…perfect thing for our chilly nights dragging on into early spring!
Sarah James says
Your stew looks delicious Dom, mushrooms are my favourite food so this is a perfect recipe for me to try. Love the sound of the herby dumplings, proper comfort food x
Jenny Eatwell says
Hooray for gravy granules! 😀 I dunno – there I am, on my blog, congratulating myself for making a pie that for once didn't include their use and here you are using them willy nilly. ROFL 😀 Aaah, I feel so much better about all the times I've used them (and I like 'em too – especially the Bisto Best ones)! This mushroomy dumplingy bowl of gorgeousness has me salivating like a labrador in front of a bacon sarnie. 😀
Phil in the Kitchen says
Oh that's so comforting and so autumnal. It makes me realise that there's life after summer. Only a handful of people know that I have a blog but those that do usually ask what the hell I'm on about. I have no idea who Ella is but I suppose I'd better find out. I'm expecting someone in the near future to ask if I know Dom from BK.
Sally Sellwood says
Anything with dumplings is good in my book, although the last time I made them I got them all wrong and they were very unpleasant. Yours look fab though, and I love the idea of the mushrooms in this.
keto recipes says
Those mushroom look like little brains 😀 Haha looks delicious though. Pinned!
Choclette Blogger says
Ooh Dom, I love dumplings. Haven't made them for ages, years even. I really must get onto it and I might just put them in your stew whilst I'm at it.
No-one except fellow bloggers has a clue how hard we work, but I guess that's true of most jobs. Pottering around the kitchen is the fun part.